Arrival

“By the Great Green Gods,” said Craz on the deck of the ship. It had taken the Goblin four months to reach his destination from the Underground.

First an airship from the 9th District to Franco, then a charter bus to NeoAnglia, then a vessel to the Carib Republics, before finally charting a ship to West Africa. It had been a long and interesting trip; full of fascinating people, new foods and beautiful sights. All of it paled compared to now.

He had watched the feeds and vids. He had met many from the African Kingdoms visiting the Underground. He had even talked to Exposed persons who reported the continent was nothing but war, poverty and AIDS.

Damn ignorant fools.

On the deck of the ship, Craz stood in awe of the great city that spread out before him.
The ports were an organized chaos of tankers and galleys bringing in goods and people from all over the world. Cranes like serpents lifted steel crates into warehouse yards. People by the thousands arrived on ships. Many of them black-skinned humans wearing brilliant colourful dresses and shirts, like swaying flowers. Many others were Jackal or Eagle-headed Coptics, spotted hunched lycanthropes and other strange humanoids and wondrous Sapients.

Beyond the port, the skyline grew like a forest of glass and gold spires. Gleaming in the bright sunny day like a dragon’s horde. Airships hovered like lazy silver beetles. Hovercrafts, which did originate from the Underground but had clearly been perfected here, zipped around like sparkling diamond flies.

He rushed to the rail and saw a boardwalk full of people. Shops of a thousand different colours and smells, fabrics and rugs of a million different shades. It was like Craz’s entire world had gone from black-and-white to full technicolour.

He gasped. A zebra-drawn chariot carried a local aristocrat through boardwalk. People scattered out of his way. His bare black chest glittered with gold necklaces. In one corner, an immense golden gorilla, easily the size of a Jotunn, sat doing tricks for gaggles of human children.

Craz was in complete awe. It was like the Underground had been spilled out into the sun and bloomed into a rainbow garden.

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